Here's a book that made quite a splash when it came out. It's the first of a trilogy (more recently extended to four books) that provides a prequel story to James Barrie's timeless classic Peter Pan. And it's written by thriller writer Ridley Pearson and comedian Dave Barry. This is supposed to be good? I wonder.
And then I read the book.
How did Peter Pan get to Neverland? How did Captain Hook get there, and what all made him first start to hate Peter? How did Peter come to know the natives? And why did Peter seek out Wendy on that fateful night? Some of these questions will be answered here! The rest... well, that's what sequels are for.
Peter is an orphan on a ship, the Never Land en route to the land of Rundoon when he spies two things. First, there is a chest filled with something strange and extremely valuable. Second, there is Molly Aster, a girl about his age... who is almost as mischievous as him.
The ship is overtaken by the ruthless pirate Black Stache, and Peter and Molly, along with several of Peter's orphan friends, are stranded on an uncharted island. They have nothing with them but the clothes on their backs...
...And the mysterious chest.
I had no idea of how such different writers as Barry and Pearson could come together for any project, or how their writing styles could be in any way meshed. Well, it actually worked, and the writing flowed quite nicely. The style has some humor, some suspense, and a very nice sense of wonder. It's immensely enjoyable getting to see all the pieces fall into place, and to see characters begin to transform into the characters of Barrie's novel. Peter Pan flies off the page once again, ready to be enjoyed by an entirely new generation. It's a lot of fun, and a great, great read.
My rating: 9.5/10
Coming Soon: Young Frankenstein and Peter and the Shadow Thieves.